November 7: North Korean investors have not come into contact with the Department of Industries even after missing the deadline given by the department to take back their investment from Nepal.
The department had written its third letter to the North Korean Embassy in Kathmandu on October 20 to take back investments made by Korean nationals within two weeks. Likewise, on September 16, the department had asked the North Korean investors to take back their investment within 45 days. But the requests have fallen in deaf ears.
As the North Korean investors did not show up, the department has already written a letter to the Ministry of Industries informing it about the latest development.
The ministry has sought details regarding this issue from the department. The department replied on November 2 that not a single North Korean company has come into contact with it.
“They have not come into contact despite our repeated calls,” said Jeevan Prasad Luitel, director general of the department.
Luitel said they will now initiate the process to shut down the companies having investment of North Koreans. The department has also decided to recommend not to extend the visa of the North Korean investors, which might then force them to return back. But this requires further discussions with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Industries, he further said.
Data at the department show that North Korean investors have been investing in Nepal since the last 23 years. Currently, there are nine businesses operating with North Korean investment. Among them, six are hotels and restaurants, two are IT companies and one hospital.
The government’s decision to ask North Korean to take back their investment comes after renewed calls of the United Nations Security Council, which had decided to impose sanctions on North Korea on May 11, 1993 for its active involvement in pursuing nuclear ambitions and missile tests.
The UN Security Council decided to impose more sanctions including economic sanctions on December 22, 2018 after it stepped up its activities to enrich nuclear energy.
The UN had written a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to shut down industries operating with North Korean investment. Based on the letter, the government decided to clamp down the businesses backed by North Korean investment.